* Government plans for 20,000 additional classroom assistants will meet just a quarter of schools' needs for support staff, according to a study commissioned by the National Union of Teachers.
The recruiting target will not be enough to ensure every school has one, writes Frances Rafferty.
The report, Meeting the Challenge of Change, by PricewaterhouseCoopers focuses on a cross- section of primary and secondary schools in five education authorities in England and Wales.
The authors say that the use of associate staff varies enormously: "We were surprised that there appears to be little in the way of existing simple guidance for school managers in the employment and use of associate staff. "
The report says there is a need to increase the skills and confidence of teachers, particularly in secondary schools, of managing and using assistants.
It also says that there should be a new national framework for training, pay and conditions for classroom assistants.